By the outfits realizing that blowing exhaust gasses during the diffuser can bring a good performance improvement, a lot of work has gone on in this area over recent weeks.
Red Bull Racing’s RB6 has had its low exhausts since pre-season testing, while Ferrari tried out its own version of the idea during a ‘filming day’ test at Fiorano in Italy last week ahead of its introduction this weekend.
McLaren and Williams are set to set up their own versions of the blown diffusers for the British Grand Prix. Paddy Lowe, the engineering director at McLaren, said earlier this week that he reckoned the benefit from a blown diffuser was easily several tenths of a second over a lap. That is why he is worried Ferrari could make a big leap forward in performance in Valencia this weekend.
“That is a concern,” he said. “I think we’ll have to see how they get on with it. It’s a shame that some others have been slightly quicker than we were getting it, but we are where we are. I think we’ll have to do what we can and see.
“It all depends at each circuit on how the different characteristics suit some cars and not others. For instance Ferrari really struggled in Turkey. I can’t predict where they’ll end up any more really than I can predict where we’ll end up.
“What’s very interesting and really great for the interest in the sport is the variation you get in very fine differentials between teams as you go through the different circuits with different characteristics. It’s not very predictable.”